Fangirl Speaks Up: Does the Star Wars Expanded Universe give a Yaddle?

The sixth book in the Fate of the Jedi series, Vortex, will be released this week. Promotional material gives some interesting insights into where the Powers That Be are setting their sights for the series as a whole.
. . . → Read More: Fangirl Speaks Up: Does the Star Wars Expanded Universe give a Yaddle?

Why Fangirls Love Imperial Knights

Roan_Fel_Imp_Knights

If you’re a Star Wars fan who doesn’t follow the Expanded Universe generally, or Dark Horse’s Legacy comics in particular, then Imperial Knights (IK) may be a new term for you. Short version: They’re like Jedi Knights, but they’re Imperials. Huh? Suffice to say, in the 130 years that have passed from the end of Return of the Jedi until the Legacy comics, a lot has changed in the galaxy. The Jedi Order is still around, and so are the evil Sith. But there’s a third faction in play, an Empire that opposes the Sith just as fiercely as the Jedi do. And they have their own team of light-saber wielding, Force-trained Knights.

When the Imperial Knights were first introduced to the Star Wars universe with the release of Legacy #0 in June 2006, there was quite a stir among fans. This new sect of Force-users served under a fully-trained Imperial Knight, Emperor Roan Fel, who was later confirmed to be the grandson of the first Fel emperor, Jagged Fel (a major character in the ongoing novels set in the post-ROTJ era), himself the son of Soontir Fel (a character created in the comics in the late 1990s, who later made appearances in the novels as well). While the details of the philosophical disagreements between the Jedi Knights and this new group of light-side practitioners have only been covered in broad brushstrokes, the basic gist is that the IK’s loyalty is not to the will of the Force directly (as the Jedi . . . → Read More: Why Fangirls Love Imperial Knights

Fan Fun Fridays

padme TCW 310

Friday night television used to be the dumping ground for some of the weakest offerings on the networks’ schedules, but times have slowly been changing. This fangirl is more thankful for the DVR than ever, because there are more than a couple of fan-friendly shows packing heroic tales that fill the slots once written off as lost to high school football games or date night.

Smallville, CW, 8pm

Now in its tenth season, Smallville is proving that there’s more to being a superhero than wearing a multi-color spandex suit. This season in particular, the storytelling has focused on what qualities are necessary to create an actual super man. This past week’s episode, “Patriot,” featured Michael Hogan (BSG’s Colonel Tigh) as the enforcer of the Vigilante Registration Act, which aims to enlist the renegade superheroes. When Oliver registers, he is jailed and then subjected to a battery of tests. As he quickly finds out, the VRA’s goals are not to create empathy and mutual cooperation with the superheroes, but rather to understand how best to destroy them. Let’s just say that between Aquaman and his wife, Tigh without the eyepatch, talk of the Dark Side, and previews for an upcoming alternate universe story, this episode had plenty of fare for the fangirls and fanboys who chose to stay home on Friday night.

The Clone Wars, Cartoon Network, 9pm

Probably my only big complaint about Season Three has been how the various episodes have jumped back and forth all over the timeline of the war, making the . . . → Read More: Fan Fun Fridays

The finishline is in sight

NaNoWriMo participants, have you, hidden away in your writing den for over two weeks now, lost contact with your friends? Have you cursed out your muse yet? Sighed at the woeful word count because it’s not rising fast enough? Have you been tempted to hurl your computer because it seizes up? Mine likes to back itself up right in the middle of my flow. Doesn’t matter if it’s morning, noon, night, off it goes. Stop everything! The computer’s got to BACK UP!

When it happened the other day, my hopping mad display of utter frustration looked a lot like Cinderella’s stepsister in the movie Ever After. You know, the one who thrashes wildly at invisible bees. My rage dance was a cheaper alternative to chucking the laptop out the window, though, and I did feel better. After returning to a calm state, I simply told my husband I was figuring out the movements for my character. Works every time. 

The poor guy’s getting used to my glassy-eyed stare that generally comes over me at dinner time, when my hands are occupied. That’s when the most brilliant story ideas come flitting into my mind. My muse, she’s fickle, though. If I don’t stop everything and write it down RIGHT THEN, sometimes she won’t bring that brilliant idea back around. They’re like one-time offerings. Now you see it, now you don’t.

I’ve resorted to keeping a little journal with me at all times. Usually, I just have to jot a few quick notes, but sometimes it’s . . . → Read More: The finishline is in sight

Fanboys, wait…

FANgirl Blog weighs in on the recent discussions concerning a new business aimed at the female fans. . . . → Read More: Fanboys, wait…

Change Your Vision

Ten days into NaNoWriMo and I see a variety of emotions.  I saw one person who was over halfway to their goal of 50,000 words.  Many more are already struggling with dastardly computers, illnesses, blasted work – or in other words, Darth Real Life. But whether it’s looking like they’ll make the lofty goal or not, I think all the participants are winners right now simply because creativity is alive and kicking in November. 

If you’re someone who’s struggling, here’s a simple exercise to feed the muse. It works every time for me.

Pick a moment that will fit into your schedule today or tomorrow. It might be a pre-dawn sunrise down by the pond at the local park  or the exuberant early minutes of the football game on Friday night. Then, while you’re in that moment, at that football game say, take fifteen minutes and pretend there is nothing else. Make yourself a vessel.  Don’t be; just observe.

They say blind people have better hearing. Shut your eyes and give it a little test run. It’s incredible what happens to your other senses. I bet you can still tell what’s happening on the football field – the fans are screaming on your side of the stadium, the team is shouting for Waldo, cheers erupt, Waldo just scored! Funny, though, that amid all this you notice the hint of jasmine and citrus touching your nostril. That’s your pal, Kim. She just shoved past wearing that soft, warm peacoat she bought last week. Is that… yep, the . . . → Read More: Change Your Vision

Heiress to the Throne?

The Lucas Family in TCW "Sphere of Influence"

A recent episode of The Clone Wars was so remarkable I felt inspired to write about it.  At first I had in mind a review, praising the many things the episode did well. Thinking over what I wanted to say, though, I realized so many of my thoughts centered on the episode’s author that I wasn’t forming a review, but rather some excited fangirl speculation.

The Lucas Family in TCW "Sphere of Influence"

So what exactly has gotten me so inspired? The particular episode that has made an impression was “Assassin”, Season 3, Episode 7. In case you aren’t following the cartoons closely, it was written by Katie Lucas. And yes, she’s George Lucas’ daughter.

When the episode first aired, I remember being a bit overwhelmed by the cinematic caliber of the achievements within the 22-minute cartoon. Lucasfilm has always been known for pushing the limits of technology in pursuit of newer and better ways to impart George Lucas’ vision. The visuals in “Assassins” were stunning on any number of levels, from the broad panoramic shots of Alderaan and Coruscant to the intricacies of Ahsoka’s facial expressions and body movements. Coupled with the clever use of music from the movies – you’ll hear Leia’s Theme as Padmé’s ship lands on Alderaan, for instance – the cartoon format is quickly becoming as strong a medium for telling stories as live-action Star Wars.

Setting all the animation achievements aside, each episode of the cartoon still has to tell a story, and just like her hometown San . . . → Read More: Heiress to the Throne?

Simplifying Dialogue

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, you’ve got three days under your belt and hopefully a healthy head start on that word count. Since you’re in the thrall of writing, I thought I’d give you some things to think about that may make your storytelling easier. Today’s advice concerns dialogue.

Through trial and error, struggling with setting and beats, I’ve come up with an informal rule that’s made my life as a writer a lot easier. It’s really simple – Stick to two characters as much as possible.

Two characters in a scene maintains a much easier dynamic for the reader to follow. The dialogue is naturally going to shift back and forth between the two characters, and the reader knows and understands this intuitively, without the need for beats and other dialogue clues. Character A speaks; Character B responds; Character A speaks, and so on. A third character in the scene constantly demands more attention, specifying who’s doing the talking and how each character is reacting and responding in turn. A fourth character makes the scene even more challenging for the reader, and so on down the line.

Each additional character beyond two compounds the daunting task before the author, who has to create a fluid exchange that imparts what she wants while not confusing the readers.  Remember, we always have to assume the reader won’t know who’s going to be speaking next – unless, of course, there are just two characters talking.

As you set up your scenes this month, see if you can limit . . . → Read More: Simplifying Dialogue

November 2010 Preview

TCW Assassin Padme Ahsoka

At the beginning of every month, I’ll post a brief preview of what’s to come.  Here’s my first glimpse of topics I plan to address in the month of November.

Heiress to the Throne? – The most recent episode of TCW centered around three female characters – Senator Padmé Amidala, Jedi Ahsoka Tano, and bounty hunter Aurra Sing. “Assassins” was written by The Maker’s daughter, Katie Lucas, and is a must-see episode. The wonderfully crafted story offers a new hope that the Star Wars universe has found an inspired champion with a fangirl’s heart.

Does Star Wars give Yaddle? – Current trends in the book and movie industry have been slow to adjust to the needs of fangirls in particular. FANgirl will explore the problem with the status quo.

NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writer’s Month kicks off today. You can turn here to look for encouragement or just to shout at your lazy, uninspired muse. FANgirl blog will offer some quick exercises that work to spur on the creative flow.

Why do fangirls love the Imperial Knights? – They’re Force-users and Imperials, and exactly what some fangirls have been looking for. In a recent discussion with Jan Duursema at Celebration V, it became apparent to me that those in charge may not even realize why fangirls love Imperial Knights . . . → Read More: November 2010 Preview